Blame Vegas for last week's absence. Blame anything you want, actually, except me. The perfect writer.
12 noon — Central Michigan (6-1, 4-0) at Bowling Green (3-4, 2-1) (TV: ESPN Plus/GamePlan/ESPN360)
CMU feat. Dan LeFevour has to be the best team in Michigan, with UM a close second. Michigan State is third, which is funny, because State beat the Wolverines. See, the Spartans have three losses, including one to Notre Dame (which Michigan beat) and to Central Michigan, a freakin' MAC team.
Why bring this up? Because bringing up the details of their next game is far too painful. Central Michigan 37, Bowling Green 28
1 p.m. — Ball State (0-7, 0-3) at Eastern Michigan (0-6, 0-3) (TV: Hahahaha)
"Thirtreen losses enter. One winner leaves."
Holy crap, somebody's going to win their first game in this matchup. That's the beauty of the MAC; they take every measure to ensure everybody has a chance to win at least one game. For both these teams, it could be their only chance. And that's quite sad. I thought this might be one of EMU's finer teams over the years, given their pulse showing against Northwestern and it being Andy Schmitt's senior season. And as for Ball State … Jesus Christ. They start 12-0 last year, and now they're probably going to lose 10. It's not about who wants it more, but who you feel sorry for more.
Oh, and forget about touchdowns. It's supposed to rain during the entire game. Ball State 6, EMU 3
1 p.m. — Northern Illinois (3-3, 1-1) at Miami (0-7, 0-3) (TV: Nope)
What we missed last week: what in the word happened to NIU against Toledo? Just 19 points against that defense? Having lost to Wisconsin by eight and a what-the-hell-when-did-they-become-good Idaho team, the one-point UT loss was somehow their worst of the year. Miami would kill for a one-point loss. NIU 28, Miami 9
2 p.m. — Kent State (3-4, 2-1) at Ohio (5-2, 3-0) (TV: )
When we last left our friends in Athens, Ohio, they were steamrolling through all the other Ohio teams on their schedule and winning them all, making them the favorite in the East. Their last task is Kent State, who technically looks like a division contender. And I technically am a millionaire, if you count all that gold I mined years ago in Runescape. Whatever happened to that game? Ohio 31, Kent State 16
2 p.m. — Buffalo (3-4, 1-2) at Western Michigan (3-4, 2-2) (TV: )
The thrill and excitement of two underperforming schools is the chance to perhaps become bowl eligible and fly to somewhere like Fort Worth and get stomped on by the seventh best Big XII school. Yippee! WMU 30, Buffalo 28
3:30 p.m. — Akron (1-5, 0-3) at Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 Big East) (TV: ESPN360)
It's a shame the MAC only has two televised games this week, and that this is one of them. This is probably the worst game of them all (Ball State/EMU is slightly better based on the hilarity factor). Are we still that interested in Rick Paulus play a year of football? Has the novelty not yet worn off? Is Paulus going to play water polo for Akron next year? He could become the Van Wilder of college sports. Syracuse 28, Akron 14
7 p.m. — Temple (4-2, 3-0) at Toledo (4-3, 2-1) (TV: )
Okay, who saw this one on the schedule two months ago and declared that not only would Temple have a chance, but they might actually be the favorite? Who also saw them getting a feature article in the New York Times this week? And sweet Buddha what the hell are they doing to that poor football player?
And who saw the barrage of hate comments I received two weeks ago for not believing in Fighting Golden Owls? (Maybe it wasn't hate; it's entirely possible one individual sincerely believed my lack of football knowledge made me a pedophile. It fits the profile. You never see guys on To Catch A Predator making wise parlay bets.) And you know what? I still don't. Look at who they've beaten: two winless teams, Army (who also beat the same two winless teams), and Buffalo. Granted, it's more than I'd have pegged them for, and they're a nice story, but I predicted this nice story to unfold at Temple two years ago. It never happened.